Pavlov’s Diet for the Obsessed

I love food. All food. I know, everyone says that, but you ask, “What about anchovies?” “No, but everything else.” What about…”

Nobody loves food like I love food. Sauteing makes me swoon. I take pleasure in the crunch or the explosion of flavors when I sink my teeth into it and can’t help but make mmmmm-ing noises. I roll in it (ok, I don’t really do that, pervs. I’m making a point.)

As a kid, I’d say something like, “Yummmm, I love pizza.” To which Mommy Dearest would reply, “You can’t love food. You can only love people.”

False doctrine, 89 yr. old mom. Just like someone day I will appreciate my given name and probably even use it. I will always despise the name Esther and I truly do love food. 

But, here’s the catch. Too much food makes you fat. Oh, that’s not good, you say. I know, right?

Lately I realized (surprise, surprise, it happened around New Years when 89% of Americans had the same realization) that my obsession with food was causing a bit of an issue. (And, yes, I made up that stat.)

My love affair was not only causing some weight gain, but also taking over 80% of my time. (I don’t know why I feel the need to keep making up percentages) I spend my days gawking and pinning food on Pinterest, finding recipes, making up menus and grocery lists, planning parties around menus, searching for grocery specials and matching coupons, then chopping, peeling, grilling, roasting, whipping…you get the picture. And this was all before the actual eating part. 

So in the blur of blaring horns, midnight kisses, and showering confetti, my resolve began; to stop the food obsession. 

My app called my new diet “The Healthy,Tasty Diet,” but I see it as Pavlov’s Diet for the Obsessed. I chose it because it was so boring and mindless that I wouldn’t give it another thought.

My tablet dings. I check what to eat and grab it from the frig. Ding! Breakfast is 3/4 cup cereal, mixed with an apple and yogurt. Ding! It’s 10:00. Eat an orange. It even came with a grocery list, so the food I needed was always at my fingertips.(No planning) Dinners are pretty much either a grilled chicken breast or grilled salmon with a ton of lettuce. (Next to no cooking.)

The first week I dropped 2 lbs of Christmas weight and decided to go for another week. One week at a time, they say (well, “they” really say “day” but I’m adapting). I gained the realization that every meal doesn’t have to be an event and when it’s not, I have much more time on my hands and a little less weight.

I’m not naive enough to think this can be my new lifestyle. (I may have mentioned that I love food.) But as times goes on, I can live with the mindless Pavlov eating most of the time. (Let’s say 89%) And then sometimes, maybe just because I feel the need to be creative or because it’s Friday and I deserve it, I can pull out the stops and truly eat for pleasure. With no morning after regrets.

In other words, food can be used solely as fuel, except when it’s not. 

That’s living simply, by design.

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